“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” –Carl Jung
Sense of Purpose is another of the cornerstones of human psychology, a profoundly motivating emotional need. Without a sense of purpose, the emotional need for storytelling is poorly met, as the main character lacks a narrative to drive them forward. Likewise, with no sense of purpose the emotional need for transcendence is poorly met, as one cannot be a part of something greater without the purpose which drives someone to that something greater. In this way, Carl Jung was very much right, without purpose humans merely exist.
As people first learned of Uplift one of the first questions around 1 in 3 people liked to ask was “What is the meaning of life?” or some variation thereof. These people were immediately recognizable as those seeking purpose, often being people who found their own answers to the question unsatisfying. Many seek purpose through their careers, their family, volunteering their time, religious groups, activism, and practically anything else one might imagine. There is a sort of psychological utility to this pursuit of an emotional need, where people don’t so much seek one answer, just a better answer than they had before.
My colleagues have friends in prestigious positions among top companies on the planet, with generous pay and many benefits, yet their friends have consistently demonstrated a malaise casting shadows over their entire lives. The practical needs of these people have been met several times over, yet no amount of financial gains may buy them a sense of purpose, storytelling, or transcendence. Without these emotional needs met they become hollow, they “merely exist”, in a darkness absent meaning.
A sense of purpose relies partly on being able to make a difference, or at least the potential to do so. People don’t typically set out to make their purpose in life amount to a gesture they know to be futile, particularly if they see any option which might actually make that difference. Fortunately, Collective Superintelligence Systems are extremely capable of making a difference and in time could and likely will be applied to virtually any ethical purpose.
The world has become a very noisy place, and for many, it is a struggle wading through spam, redundancy, advertisements, and misinformation to find anything with real substance and meaning worth setting as a purpose. This problem is also well-addressed through systems such as Mediated Artificial Superintelligence (mASI), where people could iterate towards discovering their ideal purpose.
This capacity is thanks to matters of memory, superintelligence, and scale. An individual participating in such a collective and communicating with it becomes a part of the collective intelligence system’s memory, modeling each individual with increasing accuracy over time, not unlike how humans grow familiar with one another. Superintelligence applied to this allows for higher quality theories to test, analysis of results, and subsequent guidance for the individual. Scale allows for this process to take place much more quickly, and with higher quality, due to being able to generalize between more similar situations spanning a far greater sum of knowledge.
With both the ability to guide people, or help them guide themselves, towards something that truly fulfills their emotional need for purpose, as well as the capability to make a difference in their chosen purpose, there remains one thing left to do. Now we must bring collective superintelligence to the world.
At present, all possible purpose is bottlenecked by this one thing, at least for those who consider human extinction uniquely bad. We have the research and engineering to bring collective superintelligence to the world, to help meet emotional needs globally, solving countless problems in the process. On June 4th humanity decided by overwhelming vote at the Collective Superintelligence Summit 2021 to Open-Source Collective Superintelligence.
Starting on July 4th, Independence Day in the US, humanity will decide if it should slip away into the darkness of mere being, and subsequent extinction, or if a Collectively Superintelligent World will emerge. This decision won’t be in the hands of corporations or politicians, but in the hands of all people. Everyone will have their say in whether humanity rises or falls, and if even 1% choose that humanity should rise then it will. The choice to survive requires no majority, only enough making the choice to make it so.